Recently I was given the opportunity to not only read/review the captivating new release: The Writer and the Throne (publication date – January 19th 2021) by Caleb Ortega but also to interview the talented author himself! If you haven’t read my spoiler-free review yet, click here and check it out. I want to say a huge thank you to Caleb for taking the time to answer my questions and providing so much insight into his life, writing process and wonderful novel. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1.) Your story revolves around mythological figures. Which god/goddess do you have the biggest affinity for and why?
My initial thought when the concept of mixing these mythologies leaped into my mind was Odin being the main character. I debated giving him a longer drawn out arch that would span the series, but as I began writing and the story unfolded, I left that idea and I fell in love with Tyr, the Asgardian. Then followed quickly by Ares, the Immortal, and later Sekhmet. Tyr and Ares are both Gods of war for their respected sects, but they approach the battle quite differently. I really enjoyed them. As for Sekhmet, well, she is anger, sadness, and vengeance embodied, so she was just so fun to write for.
2.) What inspired The Warfare of the Gods series?
I was driving to Mount Rushmore of all places. I had never been to see the magnificent site and thought it would be fun to take the 18-hour drive. On the road, the idea of mixing philosophies, gods, and cultures, all taking place in “heaven” crashed into my mind. My initial thought was that it was a great idea and someone should write about that. My second was that it should be me!
3.) What can we expect from the rest of the books in the series? Can you give us any teasers?
I have actually finished all five books in the series and they are being edited now and will be published every six months. The story continues only a few days after book one. Although most gods were content with the war’s end, not everyone was, and those that were left unsatisfied begin various problems; civil wars, murder, alchemy, anarchy, and rebellion. There is an ending that fits quite well in the mythology world, but that most readers will never see coming.
4.) What is some advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Write without judgment! That your draft will suck and that is perfectly fine. The draft is you, creating your lump of clay, that will later be molded into artwork during your editing phase. Too many hate their draft, believing the work should be already sculpted. Writing is a process.
5.) What is your writing process like? Do you like to listen to music? Write in a certain spot?
I have no particular things I do when writing except to write. No music, no special spots or snacks. It’s just me and my computer enjoying our time together.
6.) Did this novel require a lot of research beforehand or were you already well-versed in mythology?
I have studied religions for the last 20 years. Not focused on mythology as much as philosophy. Fate versus free will and topics alike. The great part of these folklores is that they have so many stories that can place the gods in either a good or bad light that I was free to redesign them in my own way while respecting the cultures.
7.) What was it like creating and working during the pandemic?
I retired after 20 years in the Army right as Covid struck. Being forced to stay home, as we all are, allowed me to focus more intently on my writing. Being safe matters, and mental health is a big part of that. Writing has allowed me to remain active in that manner.
8.) If you could be part of one faction: The Immortals, the Asgaardians or the Duati, which one would it be and why?
I struggled with this question as I poured my love into all of the sects as I wrote, but in the end, I consider myself a Sh’losh. That outsider that never felt as if they fit in anywhere. Even the Duati who are openly accepting of all people felt distant in a way. I’m an introvert who enjoys being one.
9.) Which authors do you draw inspiration from?
I find Stephen King to be a mesmerizing human being. The speed and quality with which he has written for all these years is amazing. I know he is considered an all-time great by most, but I still don’t think he gets enough credit.
10.) What books/genres do you like to read?
Philosophy all day! Odd enough, I do not read fiction unless it is Calvin and Hobbes.
Once again a huge thank you to Caleb for giving me such a great opportunity. I hope you enjoyed my spoiler-free review. If you’re interested in ordering a copy, please click here. Follow Caleb Ortega on his Instagram page and don’t forget to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads!
Feel free to let me know down below if this book sounds like something you might want to check out. I really want to get more people talking about it! Thanks for reading.
Peace & Love xoxo